Monday, June 20, 2011

Man Goes Fishing, Catches Bison Skeleton

According to the Associated Press, a man named Charles Ruphard from Owensboro went on a fishing trip but instead wound up hauling home a giant intact bison skeleton.

Ruphard and his wife, Lee, went fishing June 10 and decided to walk along a river bank, which he declined to identify to protect the site. Ruphard told The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer his wife saw some bones sticking out of the bank about 10 feet from them and realized the bones were large.

"You could see places of bones sticking out for 7 or 8 feet, and we thought this could be interesting," Ruphard said.

William Silvia, a University of Kentucky animal science professor and researcher in the school's College of Agriculture, reviewed photos of the bones, then retrieved them. Silvia said the bones were a bison, and a colleague who is a state parks naturalist believes that the animal is less than 10,000 years old.

Two hundred years ago, Bison were plentiful in Kentucky, but became scarce in these parts around the very early 19th century. There are several efforts to reintroduce them to Kentucky, with herds at Big Bone Lick and Land Between the Lakes (pictured above.)

Kentucky is also home of the nation's largest bison-farming operations, the Kentucky Bison Company in Goshen.

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